AFJ Applauds Nomination Of Abortion and Immigrants Rights Lawyers To Federal Courts

Press Release


Immigration, Reproductive Rights

Press Contact

Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2022 – Today the White House announced its latest slate of nominations to the federal district and circuit courts, which includes several champions for equality under the law. 

Julie Rikelman, nominated to the U.S Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, has spent her career fighting for abortion access, including serving as Litigation Director for the Center for Reproductive Rights for the past decade. She argued both June Medical Services v. Russo and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization before the Supreme Court. Though the extremists on the Trump court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, Rikelman’s work to protect our Constitutional rights is uncontested. 

Araceli Martinez-Olguin, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, is the first of President Biden’s nominees to have dedicated her career to immigrants’ rights. Serving as Supervising Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, she has fought to defend the employment rights of immigrant workers as well as litigated DACA cases for those trying to keep their families together. Martinez-Olguin is Latina and brings important professional and demographic diversity to the courts. 

Other notable nominees include Judge Daniel Calabretta, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, who would be the first openly LGBTQ+ judge to serve on that court, and Justice Myong J. Joun, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, who is a veteran with experience in civil rights litigation and will be the first AAPI man to serve on that court. Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Maria Araújo Kahn, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, has laudable experience advocating on behalf of people with disabilities and serving as a public defender. 

Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement: 

“In the wake of Supreme Court rulings that have further undermined abortion and immigration rights, it is so encouraging to see such stalwart champions of equality nominated to our federal courts. Having judges like Julie Rikelman and Araceli Martinez-Olguin improves trust in our courts because they have experience advocating for everyday Americans. With Trump-appointed judges undermining our rights at every turn, the work must continue to expeditiously confirm these nominees by the end of this year.”